As we eagerly await Prince Harry’s upcoming memoir, I know we’re all hoping that he covers one thing in particular. Let’s say it at the same time: 1… 2… 3… the mystery of how two birds died on Sandringham Estate in 2007. Is that not what you said? Well, clearly, you are not on the same page as some of the United Kingdom’s premier wildlife advocates.
Per The Guardian, there is a vocal group of Brits who really care about birds who want Harry to use his memoir to reveal what happened on the fateful day of October 24, 2007. Here’s what we know: Harry and a friend named William Van Custen were hunting on Sandringham Estate, one of the Queen’s many properties throughout the United Kingdom. Witnesses say that they saw two hen harriers, a legally protected species, be shot out of the air. Their bodies were never found. Spooky.
Harry, Van Custen, and a gamekeeper on the estate all denied shooting the hen harriers, and since the birds were not recovered from the scene of the crime, no charges were brought against any party.
Harry has been suspiciously silent on this event, even as he writes a book that he says will cover “the highs and lows, the mistakes, the lessons learned.” And Chris Luffingham, director of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, is not having it. Luffingham told The Guardian that Harry has a responsibility to give an honest account of what happened that day because “the persecution of birds of prey by the game bird shooting industry blights our country’s reputation.”
Off the top of my head, I can think about maybe one hundred other things that blight the reputation of the United Kingdom, but to each their own. For my part, I have decided to join these bird lovers in their quest for justice. Not because I am particularly fond of our avian brethren, but because I love a mystery. Who shot the bird? Was it Harry? Or perhaps William Van Custen? Has this secret bonded them together forever in a way that only a murder can? What does the groundskeeper know, and was he paid off to keep his mouth shut?
If Harry does not cover this travesty in his memoir, you will find me outside Sandringham Estate with my audio equipment in hand, ready to create the next great true crime podcast.